Removing Pepper Juice From Eyes

  • I was wiping my eyes with my hands as they felt itchy and I immediately felt a sharp, burning sensation and realized that I let pepper juice (jalapeno) get into my eyes. I went to the sink and tried rubbing my eyes and splashing cold water into my eyes, but it didn't help much. After fifteen minutes I was fine, but I need the recovery to be faster.

    Is there any faster way to:

    1. Remove the pepper juice (if possible)
    2. Make my eyes stop burning like heck?
  • michaelpri

    michaelpri Correct answer

    6 years ago

    For quick pain alleviation, put a cold, wet rag on the eye. This won't last, but what will is washing your eye out with milk. Get about a fluid ounce of milk (if you have a shot glass, fill that up). Whole milk works best, but 1% and 2% should also work. You can flush out your eyes with this milk. Rest the cup of milk on the bone at the base of you eye. Pour it on your eye and try to keep your eye open (hold it open if you can). This will be a bit messy, but it is worth it. If you don't feel comfortable washing your eye out in the shower. It won't be as effective, but it still works.

    Next time, right after you are done cutting the peppers (or whatever else you do with them) wash your hands with olive oil. Olive oil will wash up the part of the pepper juice that makes it burn.

    Also, don't touch your eyes for a while after handling peppers. A day is a good estimate. Just don't touch your eyes.

    @Quincunx Isn't touching your eyes literally doing about the same thing pepper spray does? I know the active ingredient in the two is typically the same.

    Oil will not "break up" the capsaicin, it will just wash it away, which water cannot do since the stuff is fat-soluble but not water-soluble. Soap also works - not great, needs to be done multiple times and of course not comfortable for the eyes.

    @Quincunx if you get your hands clean, you don't need to wait a day(!) for that. The thing to keep in mind is that rinsing your hands with water won't remove the capsicin, but a bit of oil for your fingertips/nails followed by a normal soap wash would allow you to, say, scratch your nose without consequences. NB! getting pepper out of your hands is something that you must do *before* doing things suggested in this answer. Handling stuff around your eyes while your fingers still have capsicin residue will only make it worse.

    Is there any easier way?

    @PythonMaster You can just use regular tap water, but I don't find this very hard and it is extremely effective.

    Milk helps reduce burning sensation. But after washing with milk you still need to wash your eyes with distilled water.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM